Werewolf by Night is an American television special directed and composed by Michael Giacchino and written by Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. It is intended to be the first Marvel Studios Special Presentation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise. The special is produced by Marvel Studios, and follows a secret group of monster hunters as they compete for a powerful relic while going up against a dangerous monster. (Wikipedia)
S P O I L E R S
Werewolf by Night clearly demonstrates why Marvel has no business producing horror movies. That’s no surprise when you consider the source material. The comic book was an exploitative cash-in on horror characters back in the 1970s when Marvel Comics were bereft of original ideas. This TV special feels exactly like that – as pointless as the comic book was – so at least they have got that absolutely spot-on!
The premise such as it is, is too basic for words. As explained in the introductory section, the Bloodstone is the secret weapon in mankind’s battle with supernatural creatures of the MCU. Ulysses – the last possessor of the artefact – is dead and a group of monster hunters are gathered to see who will inherit the Bloodstone by killing a monster. Ulysses’ estranged daughter Elsa is amongst the participants, as is a certain Jack Russell, who seems to have other intentions.
Well, basically Russell is trying to help save the monster, his friend Ted (it’s Man-Thing, guys) from the monster hunt. No background is given whatsoever about any of these characters and so it’s almost impossible to engage with any of them at all. But those in the know will be all too aware that Russell is the titular character, which removes the sting of the subsequent revelation. Ho-hum.
Russell transforms and defeats all the monster hunters and soldiers, with Elsa’s aid and she claims the Bloodstone and takes over her father’s mansion etc. That’s it! So basically, Werewolf by Night exists simply to introduce the MCU supernatural sub-genre on the flimsiest of premises. Sure folks will love the black-and-white presentation, the practical special effects and the Easter Eggs (of course) but at 54 minutes long, Werewolf by Night was a pointless, boring exercise and a very unscary horror movie. Is this what the MCU is now? Dayum.
Now streaming on Disney+.
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